Garibi Hatao or Garib Hatao?: India's Journey through Family Planning and Poverty 'Removal'

 

This advertisement (10 January, 1971) was one among several others that were published in the Yojana Patrika in the 1960s and 1970s. It shows how India’s family planning programme, officially launched in 1952, linked poverty and economic hardship to family planning. It also exemplifies how, during the period, contraceptives became the immediate prescription for the removal of poverty.

 

Sayantani Sur's article in Vol 52, No 40 of the EPW interrogates the genesis of the idea of poverty and the poor within family planning discourse in India.

 

Drawing on Sur's article, we have attempted to trace a timeline of developments from 1938 to 1976.

              

 

Infact, early in the 20th century, economists were already discussing poverty and overpopulation as a hindrance to modernity.